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Licensing Guides

Vermont HVAC License: How to Become an HVAC Contractor in Vermont

category-iconHVAC, VT

Table of Contents
  1. License Requirements for HVAC Professionals

  2. HVAC License Types and Requirements

  3. Obtaining an HVAC License

  4. Continuing Education

  5. EPA Certification for Vermont and Beyond

  6. National HVAC Certifications

  7. How Long Does it Take to Get an HVAC License?

  8. What Is the Mean Salary for an HVAC Professional?

  9. HVAC Training Programs and Trade Schools

  10. Does My License Work in Any Other States

Most states require training and licensure before you can legally design, install, repair, and maintain heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. As today’s technology for HVAC systems becomes increasingly complex, and we place more emphasis on energy efficiency and reducing pollution, HVAC-R systems need retrofitting, upgrading, or replacement to remain compliant. 

Learning this essential trade takes years, but once you complete the necessary training, your skills will be in high demand in the home services and construction industry.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are over 380,000 heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers nationwide, and 840 work in Vermont. The BLS predicts employment to grow 5% by 2030 nationwide, adding 19,000 of these skilled workers to the ranks. Steady growth is projected in Vermont, with about 110 job openings added per year, according to CareerOneStop, the U.S. Department of Labor's job search website.

Licensing requirements for HVAC workers and technicians vary widely from state to state. In Vermont, there are no specific HVAC contractor license requirements, but the state licenses HVAC technicians and contractors as specialty electricians. Read on to learn more about becoming an HVAC tech in The Green Mountain State. 

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License Requirements for HVAC Professionals in Vermont

Is a state level license required to perform HVAC work in Vermont? No, but Vermont offers an Electrical Specialist (ES) license for HVAC contractors and technicians wishing to obtain licensure in specialty areas. 

The three largest cities in Vermont — Burlington, South Burlington and Essex — do not require HVAC licensing to work on the local level, but may require permits. It’s always best to check with the local jurisdictions in advance.

Vermont HVAC License Types and Requirements

The Electrical Specialist (ES) license for HVAC contractors can be obtained through the Vermont Department of Public Safety Division of Fire Safety. The ES license types available for HVAC contractors fall into two classification options: 

  • Automatic Gas/Oil Heating (A1): required for any individual who installs or services HVAC units with propane, natural gas, or oil, such as gas furnaces or oil burners.  

  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (C3): required for any individual who installs or services units with refrigeration or air conditioning.

It’s also important to note that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under section 608 of the Clean Air Act, requires any technician who maintains, services, repairs, or disposes of equipment that could release refrigerants into the atmosphere to earn a Section 608 technician certification. HVAC apprentices don’t need to hold a certification as long as “they are closely and continually supervised by a certified technician,” according to the EPA.

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Obtaining an HVAC License in Vermont

The Electrical Specialist (ES) license with classification options of Automatic Gas/Oil Heating (A1) or Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (C3) can be satisfied in one of two ways: 

  1. Provide proof of completing a certified HVAC training program and proof of one year (2,000 hours) of specialty work experience in the HVAC industry. 

  2. Provide proof of at least two years (4,000 hours) of on-the-job experience in the HVAC field.

HVAC technicians may obtain a Type S C3 (Refrigeration or Air Conditioning) credential. Before applying for a specific HVAC position, check to see whether it requires specific licensure or credentials to qualify. 

Before applying for any specialty license, you must pass a background check with the State of Vermont. You can apply for the ES specialty licenses simultaneously.

The ES license differs from the general electrician's license, in that you don’t need to complete a four-year journeyman training program to become an HVAC contractor. 

Upon completing the requirements for an ES license, you can submit an application form to the Vermont Department of Public Safety Division of Fire Safety. The application fee is $115 per specialty license.

Once you submit the application and pass a background check, you are eligible to take the licensing exam either online or in person at a regional exam center. Licensing exams are administered by third parties, such as:

Once you pass the licensing exam and meet state licensing requirements by the licensing board, you can start building your career as an HVAC contractor by building your own small business or working for an established HVAC company.

Continuing Education

Your specialty license expires after three years, at which time you will receive a notice from the licensing board. To renew a specialty license, you must provide proof of completing at least eight hours of continuing education at an approved training program, and up to 15 hours of continuing education if you hold a license in more than one specialty.  

EPA Certification for Vermont and Beyond

Across the U.S., EPA regulations under EPA Section 608 of the Clean Air Act require certification for technicians who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release refrigerants into the atmosphere. Any professional who conducts refrigerant line-pressure tests or handles or adds refrigerant to existing air-conditioning systems needs to hold the certification.

In most cases, your employer will require you to obtain the certification as part of your training program. 

You must acquire your EPA Certification from an approved organization. There are four types of EPA certifications for refrigerant, including:

  1. Type I: for servicing small appliances containing five pounds of refrigerant or less.

  2. Type II: for servicing high-pressure units that contain five pounds or more of refrigerant (including most small commercial and residential systems).

  3. Type III: for servicing or disposing of low-pressure appliances.

  4. Universal: for servicing all systems and appliances covered under Types I, II, and III. 

For all certifications, you must pass the EPA certification exam. It covers the following topics:

  • Ozone depletion

  • Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol

  • EPA Section 608 regulations

  • Substitute refrigerants and oils

  • Refrigeration

  • The Three R’s (Recover, Recycle, Reclaim) 

  • Recovery techniques

  • Dehydration evacuation

  • Safety

  • Shipping

National HVAC Certifications

Other certifications can help you demonstrate your proficiency to potential employers and clients. The North American Technical Excellence (NATE) certification, ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers) certification and other professional certifications can add to your marketability and increase your opportunity to make more money.

How Long Does it Take to Get an HVAC License in Vermont?

In Vermont, the Electrical Specialist (ES) license with classification options for Automatic Gas/Oil Heating (A1) or Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (C3) can be completed with a combination of HVAC training and coursework in an approved school, and 2,000 hours (one year) of work in an apprenticeship program. 

HVAC training programs offered by approved schools in Vermont take one to two years to complete, depending on the program. 

The other alternative for obtaining an ES license in the A1 or C3 classifications requires at least two years of work experience (4,000 hours). 

Both options require candidates to apply to the Vermont Department of Public Safety Division of Fire Safety and pass a licensing exam. 

What Is the Mean Salary for an HVAC Professional in Vermont?  

The annual mean salary for HVAC mechanics and installers in Vermont is $54,390, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And, according to Indeed.com, the average salary for HVAC professionals in Vermont increases with experience and training.

  • HVAC Installer: The average base salary for an HVAC installer in Vermont is $54,537.

  • HVAC Service Technician: The average base salary for an HVAC service technician in Vermont is: $45,905.

  • HVAC Supervisor: The average base salary for an HVAC supervisor is $69,741.

Pay can vary widely depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and real-world experience.

Vermont HVAC Training Programs and Trade Schools

There are two main organizations that accredit HVAC programs, schools, and apprenticeships nationwide: HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA).

There are no HVAC Excellence- or or PAHRA-accredited programs in Vermont, but programs can be found in surrounding states, such as:  

New York: 

Massachusetts: 

Does My Vermont HVAC License Work in Any Other States?

No. Because Vermont requires electrical and gas/oil specialty licenses, it doesn’t allow any reciprocity agreements with other states.

Additional Resources for Vermont HVAC Techs

You can stay up to date on all HVAC industry news several ways:

Listen to top HVACpodcasts, such as ServiceTitan’s “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast

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